Last Saturday I fished with my local fly fishing club (Llangennech Angling) at Paper Mill Trout Fishery in Fforest-fach, Swansea for the club’s last competition of the year. With temperatures plummeting to near freezing over night the water is getting a lot colder, this makes trout fight a lot harder and this weekend was no exception. Paper Mill offered some of the hardest fighting trout I’ve caught in a long time!
Be sure to check out Lewis’s video at the end of this post!
We started fishing around 8.45 AM, my starting setup was an Airflo Fast intermediate fly line, approx 16ft of Airlfo G5 Fluorocarbon and a black snake fly on the end. Within my first three casts I had two pulls and a nice fish follow right to the bank, I knew by now I had the correct setup and that the fish were in the area. Ten minutes later I had my first fish on the bank, a fin perfect Rainbow trout (approx 3lb) which took the black snake half way through the retrieve. This time of year I find it’s crucial to keep varying your retrieve until you find which speed the fish are willing to take your fly at. Around twenty minutes later I had another fin perfect rainbow on the bank which gave a great fight and took me around ten minutes to land. After I had landed this fish it was time to move peg, as we rotate around every forty minutes to give all the anglers a chance to get on the fish.
I arrived at my second peg which looked extremely fishy, the wind was blowing into the bay and a little stream ran into the lake where there was heavy tree cover on the opposite bank. I started again with the same setup, first cast I was into another hard fighting rainbow which unfortunately threw the hook. After a quick check of the fly and leader I made another cast to the tree lined bank and could see a fish follow the fly instantly creating a ‘bow wave’ pushing water out of the way, I slowed the retrieve and the line locked up solid and another great fighting Rainbow was landed, this time weighing 2 ½lb. After another ten minutes of fishing everything went a little quiet, the fish were not showing as much interest in the black snake so I decided to change my setup. My second setup was a floating line with a Frog Hair indicator along with a very small biscuit blob set around 3ft under the indicator. The first cast made was to the little island to my right, the indicator shot under instantly but my strike was delayed and the fish was missed. On the second cast the indicator shot under once again, although this time I hooked the fish and it took off at a rate of knots. I knew this was a good fish as it kept on taking line and lunging deep under the surface. Fifteen minutes later the fish surfaced and it was just as good as I thought, five minutes went by before I could finally manage to net the fish. It was an excellent fully finned Rainbow, weighing in at 6lb 11oz. This won me the heaviest fish of the day and also resulted in me having the heaviest bag of the day, weighing 15lb 10ozs.
Don’t let the cold weather put you off fishing in the winter, wrap up warm and you can experience some of the hardest fighting fish and some exceptional fishing!
Check out a video of Lewis’s fishing experience below: